The 70th Independence Anniversary of Pakistan is being celebrated across the country on Monday with a renewed pledge to safeguard the motherland against any threat. The special visit of Vice Premier Wang underscores the close brotherly and cooperative ties between Pakistan and China and Beijing's strong political support for Islamabad. Wang Yong will call on President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and discuss promotion of bilateral relations.

Terrorists will not succeed in their nefarious designs as the whole nation stands united against terrorism: Khawaja Asif

Strongly condemning the terrorist attack in Quetta, Minister for Foreign Affairs Khawaja Asif says such cowardly acts of terrorism cannot shake our unflinching resolve against this menace. The sacrifices rendered by the nation and security forces will not go in vain. He expresses heartiest condolences with the bereaved families of those martyred in attack in Quetta and prayed for early recovery of the injured.

Elaborate arrangements made at Jeddah airport to facilitate Pakistani pilgrims

Ministry of Religious Affairs has made elaborate arrangements at Jeddah airport to fully facilitate and guide the intending pilgrims arriving from Pakistan. Talking to Radio Pakistam's correspondent, Incharge Jeddah Hajj Terminal Inam-ul Haq says as per the understanding reached between the governments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, a fast track system has been established under which the Hujjaj are sent to Makkah within forty to forty five minutes after going through the necessary documents verification.

Xi calls for calm as tensions between US, North Korea escalate

Xi made the plea in a phone call hours after Trump ramped up his warnings to Pyongyang, saying the Stalinist regime would “truly regret” taking hostile action against the United States. The White House said in a statement that the two leaders “agreed North Korea must stop provocative and escalatory behaviour” and that they are both committed to the denuclearisation of the peninsula. But the Chinese foreign ministry said Xi urged Trump to avoid “words and deeds” that would “exacerbate” the already-tense situation, exercise restraint and seek a political settlement.

US, France pledged to work to denuclearize North Korea

The United States and France have pledged to work to denuclearize North Korea. The agreement came during telephonic talks between US President Donald Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron. A White House statement said the two leaders discussed the increasingly dangerous situation arising out of North Korea's escalating behavior. Trump's latest warning came amid calls from China, Russia, Germany, Britain and the United Nations, urging him to show greater rhetorical restraint.

Venezuela slams Trump's statement of 'military option'

Venezuela says US military option against Venezuela is a violation of UN and international laws. Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said in a statement that Venezuela rejects the preemptive, belligerent and hawkish statement of Donald Trump, who has threatened with a military intervention. 

UN urges Myanmar to respect human rights of Rohingya Muslims

The United Nations has urged Myanmar to ensure respect for human rights while addressing the security situation in Rakhine state. In a statement, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights situation in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, said Myanmar government must ensure that security forces exercise restraint in all circumstances. He expressed alarm over reports that more troops have been sent to Rakhine state, amid fears of another wave of crackdown on Rohingya Muslims.

US spends over $76bn on arming Afghan forces- US Government Accountability Office (GAO)

The United States has spent more than $76 billion in the last 16 years on arming the Afghan security forces, says a new report by the US GAO. The report, however, noted that despite spending so much money, the United States has not yet achieved its main objective: enabling the Afghan security forces to operate independently. But the United States is likely to maintain its support to Afghanistan because the country’s “stability and security continue to face threats from the Taliban-led insurgency, criminal networks, and terrorist organisations, including the militant Islamic State group–Khorasan,” the report adds.

Editorial: Sanctions could make Pyongyang see reason (Gulf News)

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